Are you considering installing a retaining wall? It’s important to draw up specific plans so that you can create a barrier that has all of the positive benefits without negatively impacting your landscape. Depending on your location, special considerations must be taken before developing a design for such a barrier. We’ll outline the process here so you can feel confident in your project.
Gather Necessary Materials
To begin creating a retaining wall, you need to first ensure that you have all the necessary materials. For any DIY project, you should purchase safety glasses for eye protection. You will also need a chisel for splitting blocks, wooden stakes, some kind of tool for compacting, and of course, the stones that you are planning to use to build the wall. There are also many other materials that may be needed to complete your project, including brick pavers, aggregate base material, and sand. From there, you’ll need to do some careful measurements to make sure the barrier you are creating will be a snug match for the environment you are planning to build into. It’s good practice to contact your local utility company to ensure there aren’t any utility cables that may be in your way as you are digging into the area where you plan to install your barrier.
Dig & Excavate
When you are creating trenches where the stones will be placed to create the retaining wall, you want to remember that the bottom row of stones or blocks should be buried in the dirt. You should expect the bottom row of stones to be buried under about one inch of dirt for every eight inches you are planning to stack your wall. So, if you are planning a barrier that is two feet high, or 24 inches, you should plan to bury the bottom layer of stones under three inches of dirt. As you are digging, it is important that the trenches are an even level of depth, so that the wall does not become crooked.
Put Retaining Wall in Place
Once the trenches have been dug, you are ready to put the material for the wall in place. To begin, you should insert base material. Base material should not be round, as this can sink into the ground under pressure. You’ll want to use sharp, angular particles that can be broken up and easily spread into the area. You’ll want a four to six inch layer of these smaller pieces and then compact them sturdily. Throughout this process, keep a close eye to ensure the entire structure stays level. This is very important. From there, you can begin laying the stones in an ordered way to build up your wall. Depending on the type of material you use, you may or may not want to use mortar.
There are many tips and tricks out there that can help you build the wall you need. To learn more about how to build your own retaining wall, just do a quick online search and you will find a wealth of information.